Good morning to all!
It has now been just over one week since Luna’s neutering. She’s recovering superbly and is as lively and spirited in herself as she always is. The day of the procedure, Monday 12th November, turned out to be even more nerve-wracking than I had anticipated and did I feel stupid for it. But, as I am sure many fellow pet owners can recall, no matter how many times you tell yourself, ‘she’ll be fine’, ‘it’s a routine operation’, ‘the vet’s probably done it a million times’, there’s still exists a niggling doubt. We are after all only human.
And, at the end of the day, we love our four-legged friends. They are part of the family, so much so that once they become that, it’s hard to imagine life without them. One of the most difficult parts of the day started before we even got to the surgery and it was something I had been dreading…the absence of breakfast. Following the vet’s orders, Luna had not had anything to eat since 10:00pm the previous evening. Once she woke, she tottered downstairs and out into the garden. When she came back, she sat as she does every morning in her designated feeding spot and looked up. I avoided eye contact and went about my business.
She was not impressed. By the time we got to the vets, it was like her throat had been cut. Luna’s life revolves around food.. On top of that, I had the sheer audacity to get her ready for a walk (or atleast she thought) WITHOUT her best friend who was staring pitifully. Bad doggo mom, strike one. Once at the vets, I gave her a little pep talk and a kiss before handing her over to the nurses to get her settled. Now to sign the relevant forms. How scary are those?! I understand completely that they are necessary for insurance purposes etc but to put my name against a statement that read, for example, ‘I agree that human medication e.g adrenaline, may be injected in case of emergency’ is enough to get the heart racing. Literally.
Um, can I have my dog back please? I change my mind.
But I signed it and I left, not before informing the receptionist that I would call this afternoon to check up on her. The day seemed to drag but with Leia on hand to provide some well-received snuggles, one o’clock eventually rolled by. I dialled the vets.
‘Hi, it’s Charlotte, I’m just calling to check up on Luna, I dropped her off this morning for her neutering, is she okay?’
‘I’ll just check for you, one moment please’
‘Hi, yeah she’s absolutely fine, she’s just coming round now, everything went perfectly, she should be ready to collect at around 5:00pm’.
Five o’clock came and I sat in the waiting room anxiously. Moments later, the door swung open and out she came. Her belly had been shaved in a square shape, she had a shaved patch on her front leg from the cannula and a bandage on her back paw from the dew-clip removal but she was okay and I was so happy to see her.
When we got home, as expected, she was very subdued. She wanted to be alone and so took to the sofa whilst the effects of the drugs wore off. We respected her space and watched her sink into a deep slumber.
How adorable are the bone bandages they secured her back paw with?! Cuteness 10/10.
Leia had obviously missed her bestest pal and was by her side straight away, proving herself to be the most attentive and gentle companion.
Later, we tried her with some dry biscuits but she brought them back up so we continued to keep our distance, reassuring her every now and again. One of Luna’s most notable personality traits is independence. She isn’t clingy or needy. She likes her own space and can occupy her own time. She’s sort of like yin-yang with Leia for this. Leia exhibits separation anxiety and will follow you from room to room, nervous when left alone.
At bedtime, Luna could not be persuaded to come upstairs. She was so out of sorts. Not looking directly at me, moving away from my hand, restless. I went to bed feeling awful. Are dogs capable of holding grudges? How long was this going to last? Thankfully, when Oliver arrived home late and I heard him coming up the stairs, I noticed too the patter of her little paws behind him.
By the time morning came, she was completely restored back to her usual self. Hyperactive, inquisitive, mischievous. A good night’s sleep works absolute wonders! However as pleased as I was to see her feeling more like herself, it made the task of keeping her ‘calm and rested’ a real challenge. As I mentioned above, Leia was fantastic with her and really helped to keep her entertained, without having her running round loopy. In preparation for ‘Operation Keep Luna Calm’, I also had acquired lots of new toys, bones, treats and puzzles to keep them out of mischief. The smokey bacon and sausage meat flavoured chew sticks went down a treat!
From napping together…
…to using their Kongs for some downtime.
They were rarely apart, even more so than usual. It was so lovely to see and hopefully, when Leia is neutered after her next season, Luna will repay her with the same level of kindness and affection.
As the days went on, Luna continued to get stronger and the stitches on her tummy closed up nicely. I was quite surprised at how little she bothered with them, expecting her to be tugging on them, licking them and scratching constantly. On Thursday, we decided that it was time she had some exercise. She’s an incredibly active dog normally and I could tell that she was itching to stretch her legs. So we concocted a very special surprise. A trip. But where to?
Where else but somewhere Luna once loved….the beach! I was so excited, this was the first time she had ever been to an English beach and although it differs from a Greek beach in almost every way possible, it was still a beach! I imagine that this was Leia’s first trip to the beach also. I couldn’t wait to see them running along the sands.
Accompanied by Oliver’s lovely grandad, Tim, we arrived and headed straight for some classic fish and chips. It was bracing, in true British fashion, but a spectacular day with the bluest sky.
Then came the moment I had been waiting for, see for yourself how excited and energetic they were as we released them on the sands. So full of life as they lapped the shallows, tongue’s hanging, tail’s wagging, kicking up sand as they went and had us all in stitches.
Later, we caught this majestic shot of Luna. I know I’m bias but she certainly is turning into the most handsome dog.
On Monday, things took a slight turn. Although her tummy was healing perfectly, I had noticed that after having the bandage taken off from her dew-clip removal, the wound was beginning to open up again. Unlike her tummy which didn’t seem to bother her, she was regularly attempting to lick this wound and the closer I looked, the more I feared that an infection had started so I wasted no time in booking another appointment at the vets. The nurses took a sample with a swab and checked it under the microscope. She said it wasn’t infected yet but could easily have become and so we did the right thing by bringing her down. To stop the licking, she introduced…
The cone of shame.
Knowing Luna, I knew how hard work this was going to be. But, we couldn’t risk her continuing to lick the wound and leaving it vulnerable to infection, so cone it is. Has your pet ever been subjected to the lampshade treatment? Let us know in the comments below! All I can say is the lower half of my legs are going to be very bruised by the time this is all over. She has completely lost all sense of direction, balance and spatial awareness. It feels awfully cruel but at the same time, comical. Within the first few minutes, she’d already had it off multiple times, as demonstrated by the smug look below:
But she has since gotten more used to it. She doesn’t have to wear it all the time, just when she is unsupervised and hopefully only for a couple more days whilst we give her paw time to heal. Thank you for all of the lovely well wishes we have received. Rest assured she is currently the centre of lots of sympathy, attention and extra loving and is lapping up every moment of it. She has mastered the sad eyes and they seem to be catching!
Charlotte, Oliver, Luna & Leia.
PS – Keep your eyes peeled on www.lovinglunaandfriends.wordpress.com tomorrow as we will be revealing our latest fundraising event.